282 original ideas for Argumentative Speech Topics

An argumentative speech is a persuasive speech in which the speaker attempts to persuade his audience to alter their viewpoints on a controversial issue. While a persuasive speech may be aimed more at sharing a viewpoint and asking the audience to consider it, an argumentative speech aims to radically change the opinions already held by the audience. This type of speech is extremely challenging; therefore, the speaker should be careful to choose a topic which he feels prepared to reinforce with a strong argument.

Argumentative speeches generally concern topics which are currently being debated by society, current controversial issues. These topics are often derived from political debates and issues which are commonly seen in the media. The chosen topic may be political, religious, social, or ethical in nature. The audience should be challenged to re-examine their long-held values, and will be asked to alter deeply held convictions based on new evidence or viewpoints on the issue.

Obviously, selecting a topic that is debatable is key to creating an effective speech. The topic should not be something which is generally already proven, or would require an enormous leap of faith or logic in order to convince the audience. The speaker should already possess a strong interest and have a deeply-held opinion on the subject, or else his arguments will probably not come across as believable to the audience.

Topics below are not our personal opinion, they are just samples of a topic. You can flip them to create a different topic. For example, if the topic is “Eating meat and dairy is bad for your body” and you believe the opposite, just make your topic “Eating meat and dairy is good for your body”.

Our list is updated often; huge thank you to all of you who send us topic ideas. Do you have an idea? Use “Send us your idea” form, and we will publish it.

List of Argumentative Speech Topics

Business

  1. How poor accounting methods cause businesses to lose money.

Constitutional Issues

  1. Does the government have the right to tax its citizens?
  2. Torture is an acceptable measure to prevent terrorism.
  3. Banning some books and movies can help society.
  4. Guns should be made illegal.
  5. The legal drinking age should be changed to 18 for hard liquor and spirits, and to 16 for beer and wine.
  6. Should the government be able to access cell phone data?

Economy

  1. Paying waiters a hourly rate below minimum wage is unfair.
  2. Illegal immigrants are good for the economy.
  3. Decreasing the wealth tax is good for the economy.
  4. What caused the recession in the USA?
  5. Rich people should have tax breaks.

Education

  1. Should students sometimes teach the class about a subject they are an expert on?
  2. Should schools offer sign language in addition to foreign languages?
  3. Any student caught cheating on an examination should be automatically dismissed from college.
  4. Should there be a dress code to prevent students from wearing revealing clothes?
  5. Government aid for students should be based purely on academic performance.
  6. Mobiles phones should be banned in schools for both students and teachers.
  7. How No Child Left Behind has not been implemented correctly.
  8. Foreign language instruction should begin in kindergarten.
  9. College students should have the freedom to choose their own courses.
  10. Should schools have single sex education?
  11. Are academics and sports of equal importance?
  12. Should teachers have to take a yearly test to keep their jobs?
  13. Students should learn about world religions in public schools.
  14. Should sports be made a compulsory subject in universities?
  15. What are the benefits and drawbacks of school uniforms?
  16. Hungry students cannot learn, which is why free meals should be provided.
  17. Should students be held back for bad grades?
  18. Do colleges put too much stock in standardized test scores?
  19. Home education should only be allowed for medical reasons.
  20. CPR and first aid instruction should be mandatory in schools.
  21. Essays do not demonstrate a student’s knowledge on a topic.
  22. Should all students be randomly drug tested?
  23. Educational computer games should be used in school.
  24. Why the government should prevent violence in schools.
  25. Teachers should wear uniforms or obey a dress code.
  26. Why are sports trips paid for while club trips are not?
  27. Music education should be placed back into schools.
  28. Should teachers give out homework on the weekends?
  29. Sex education should be required in all schools.
  30. Exam scores do not reflect student performance.
  31. Testing and choice are undermining education.
  32. The benefits of attending a single-sex school.
  33. State colleges should be free to attend.
  34. There should be no religion in schools.
  35. Education should be free for everyone.
  36. Gender does not affect learning.
  37. Smoking and drinking on campus should be banned.
  38. Should homework be reduced?
  39. The pros and cons of Common Core.
  40. Exams should be abolished.
  41. Grades are not important.
  42. Why do we have homework?
  43. Teachers should be punished for rude behavior to students.
  44. Students should take a year off between college and high school.
  45. Why we should learn more than one language.
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Environment

  1. How the USA can use renewable energy, and what role oil companies can play.
  2. How renewable energy technologies became economically and politically viable in the late 1990s.
  3. Destruction of the world’s forest is justified by human need for land and food.
  4. The racing industry should be forced to use environmentally-friendly fuel.
  5. The government should support and subsidize alternative energy sources.
  6. Alternative energy and hybrid vehicles can help save our planet.
  7. Penalties for crimes against the environment should be tougher.
  8. Vegetarianism is an ecologically thoughtful lifestyle.
  9. Has marine engineering increased pollution?
  10. Working from home is good for the environment.
  11. Rainforest logging should be banned.
  12. Hunting is good for the environment.
  13. The advantages of recycling water.

Ethics

  1. Should celebrities be held to a higher moral standard since they are often viewed as role models by children and teens?
  2. Convicted prisoners should not have better living conditions than those not in prison.
  3. Clothing and other items produced using child labor should not be imported and sold in the USA.
  4. Denying health insurance because of pre-existing conditions violates human rights.
  5. Using animals for scientific research is inhumane.
  6. DNA experiments on human embryos are unethical and should not be allowed.
  7. Zoos, aquariums, and circuses violate animal rights and should be shut down.
  8. Are beauty pageants exploitive?
  9. Should scientists bring back extinct species through cloning?
  10. People should not be allowed to keep exotic animals as pets.
  11. Should there be world population control?
  12. Stand up for what is right, even if you stand alone.
  13. Hunting is unethical and should not be allowed.
  14. Everyone in the world should have civil rights!
  15. Do you agree that honesty is the best policy?
  16. Assassination can never be justified.
  17. The sale of human organs should be legal.
  18. Euthanasia is not morally acceptable.
  19. Euthanasia should be legalized.
  20. Is human cloning ethical?
  21. Wearing fur is unethical.
  22. We shouldn’t eat meat.

Family

  1. Every family with children filing for divorce must go through a mandatory ‘cooling off’ period.
  2. Adoptive parents should be legally bound to allow biological parents access to their children.
  3. Should babies younger than one get their ears pierced?
  4. Those who want children should take parenting classes and pass tests before having a child.
  5. Both parents should assume equal responsibility in raising a child.
  6. Strict parenting raises strong-hearted, resilient kids.
  7. Why both parents should be a part of their child’s life.
  8. Do curfews keep teens out of trouble?
  9. Why children should be respected.
  10. Should we have to pay to adopt a child?
  11. Teenagers should have more freedom than younger kids.
  12. Should kids under 13 be allowed on social media sites?
  13. Should children get to choose their living environment at age 13?
  14. Should parents be held responsible for actions of their children?

Food and Drink

  1. The only difference between normal and organic food is the cost.

Government

  1. Why veterans should have more government support.
  2. Should the president have served in the military?
  3. Is the American criminal justice system racist?
  4. Democracy is the best form of government.
  5. Women make better presidents.
  6. Is our election process fair?

Health

  1. Tap water is safer than bottled water in countries where the quality of tap water is regulated.
  2. Breastfeeding is one of the most important things a mother can do for a child.
  3. Should children born with birth defects have surgery?
  4. Lapses in food safety result from a complex interplay of factors.
  5. Should fast food restaurants stop adding chemicals to their food?
  6. Taxes should be imposed on unhealthy foods to combat obesity.
  7. GMOs are bad for health and should be avoided at any cost.
  8. Advertising of prescription drugs should not be allowed.
  9. Fast food advertisements and promotions should be banned.
  10. Terminally ill patients should be allowed to use heroin.
  11. A vegetarian diet is as healthy as a diet containing meat.
  12. Smoking a pipe is more harmful than smoking cigarettes.
  13. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) should be medicated.
  14. Stretching before and after exercise is overrated.
  15. Everyone should have free access to health care.
  16. Knowing your ancestry is important for health.
  17. Does access to condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
  18. Eating meat and dairy is bad for your body.
  19. Drug addiction is a disease not a choice.
  20. Health risks of smoking are exaggerated.
  21. Veganism is an unhealthy way to raise kids.
  22. Health risks of smoking are exaggerated.
  23. The need for teen depression prevention.
  24. The Paleo diet can ruin your health.
  25. Is laughter good for you?
  26. All farmers should go organic.
  27. The health benefits of marijuana.
  28. Bread is bad for your health.
  29. The dangers of herbal remedies.
  30. The health benefits of avocados.
  31. Running is unhealthy.

History

  1. Was Mao Zedong a great leader?
  2. Adolf Hitler was a great leader.
  3. The negative effects of Ronald Reagan’s “War on Drugs.”

International Politics

  1. Is inequality in South Africa a suitable topic to use for public speaking?
  2. Should the world become one nation and have a council for leadership?
  3. The war in Iraq was justified.
  4. Terrorism is a major issue in the world because innocent people are affected.
  5. Cultural treasures should be returned to their countries of origin.
  6. Invading other countries, as long as for a good cause, is justified.
  7. The New Zealand flag should not be changed.
  8. War is an instrument of foreign policy.

International Politics

  1. Driving speed limits should be lifted in areas with a low accident risk.
  2. People who use file-sharing sites to download content illegally should be found and prosecuted.
  3. Should the government give tax exemptions to those who drive electric or hybrid vehicles?
  4. Elderly drivers should be required to take a driving test each year after a certain age.
  5. Should colleges be allowed to use affirmative action to create a more diverse campus?
  6. Garbage disposal should not be free to encourage recycling (example: Switzerland).
  7. Salaries of actors, professional athletes and CEOs should be regulated and capped.
  8. Any products that are believed to cause cancer should have a warning label.
  9. Fast food, soda, chips and other unhealthy food should be heavily taxed.
  10. Making drugs illegal creates an environment for crime and violence.
  11. Should it be harder to get a divorce?
  12. Should the death penalty exist?
  13. Laws to protect the victims of domestic abuse should be enforced.
  14. Pitbulls and other aggressive dog breeds should not be allowed.
  15. Gay couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples.
  16. Should the EPA make it illegal to modify your car for racing?
  17. DUI offenders should lose their license for a year.
  18. Should you have to take a training class to purchase fireworks?
  19. Workers should get four weeks paid vacation each year.
  20. Plastic surgery should be illegal for anyone under 18.
  21. Retirement should be made compulsory at the age of 60.
  22. Abortions should be legal in cases of rape and incest.
  23. The cost of prescription drugs should be regulated.
  24. Couples should be banned from adopting overseas.
  25. Banning smoking in public places is undemocratic.
  26. Spaying and neutering pets should be mandatory.
  27. Minors should be tried for murder at any age.
  28. Voting should be compulsory for all citizens.
  29. Illegal immigrants should receive asylum.
  30. Organ donation should be mandatory.
  31. Vaccinations should be compulsory.
  32. Prostitution should be legalized.
  33. Should abortion be made illegal?
  34. The smoking age should be lowered.
  35. The voting age should be lowered.
  36. Why smoking should be banned.
  37. Talking on the phone while driving should be banned.
  38. There should be equal pay for equal work.
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Literature

  1. Does Shakespeare romanticize youth suicide in the tragic play Romeo and Juliet?
  2. Edgar Allen Poe’s career as an author benefitted from his difficult, grief-filled life.
  3. Popular literature is not as valuable as classical literature.
  4. Why books are better than their movies.

Media

  1. Reality television makes people stupid and should be regulated.
  2. Does media violence lead to behavioral problems?
  3. TV cop shows are too intense for children.
  4. Watching television makes people smarter.
  5. Are kids having too much screen time?
  6. Is watching TV good or bad for children?
  7. Has the television become obsolete?
  8. Reality TV is not reality.
  9. Vulgar scenes in films should be reduced.

Music

  1. Can anyone play an instrument with the right materials and instruction?
  2. The beneficial physiological effects of music.

Politics

  1. Americans should not get involved in conflicts that don’t concern the national interest.
  2. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid reform are non-negotiable ways out of the debt crisis.
  3. Famous people (actors, athletes) should not be allowed to become politicians.
  4. Is the government doing justice to the taxpayers?

Psychology

  1. Why people should smile when they’re happy, and pretend they are happy when feeling sad.
  2. Our identity is shaped by how others view us.
  3. The benefits of having friends.

Relationships

  1. Does age matter in relationships?
  2. Social networks are killing sincere relationships.
  3. Polygamy creates healthy relationships.

Religion

  1. If nothing happens without a cause, then the big bang must have been caused by God.
  2. Why it is better to have many religions.
  3. Banning burkhas or other religious clothing is against human rights.
  4. The world would be more peaceful without religions.
  5. Churches should be required to pay taxes.
  6. Are there any alternatives to evolution?
  7. Religion is a force for evil.

Science

  1. Genetically modified food should be the answer to the world’s hunger problem.
  2. Is Mars the next planet for human habitation?
  3. The NASA moon landing was a hoax.
  4. Space exploration is a waste of money.

Society

  1. Permits should not be needed to build small, permanent structures in the city of Baldwin.
  2. Technological progress signifies the decline of human moral, spiritual, and traditional values.
  3. Men and women face unequal pressure to change their bodies to look good.
  4. Sexual immorality in our society is a result of the influence of foreign films.
  5. People are not satisfied with what they have.
  6. Compulsory military service is good for society and the country.
  7. Christmas is just a way for businesses to increase sales.
  8. Billboards should not be allowed on interstate highways.
  9. Men should be forced to take paternity leave from work.
  10. Violent video games and toys should not be allowed.
  11. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
  12. How people are judged by their skin color.
  13. How parents don’t understand our generation.
  14. Hollywood has a negative impact on society.
  15. The taboo on recreational drugs is unjustified.
  16. The negative effects of racism.
  17. Why do people believe in superstitions?
  18. Privacy is not the most important right.
  19. The negative effects of selfishness.
  20. Are nursing homes necessary in our society?
  21. Do we still live in a sexist society?
  22. Does social status matter?
  23. The Miss America pageant is sexist.
  24. How to stop cyber bullying.
  25. Is laziness a good thing?
  26. Is life in the city preferable to live life in the country?

Sport

  1. Athletes caught using steroids should be banned from professional sports for life.
  2. Why cheerleading should be part of the Olympics.
  3. Why hockey should allow fights.
  4. Is marching band a sport?
  5. Is cheerleading a sport?
  6. Sports should be obligatory at school.

Technology

  1. Students should not have to learn cursive because technology is making it irrelevant.
  2. Social media has changed us for the worse.
  3. Modern technology has increased material wealth but not happiness.
  4. Has the internet made research easier and more convenient?
  5. How nuclear power shaped 21st century electrical generation.
  6. Technology makes us lose most of our traditions and culture.
  7. Life was better when technology was more simple.
  8. Human beings are becoming slaves of modern technology.
  9. Is the internet a good or a bad thing?
  10. Technology is making people less creative.
  11. The positive effects of technology on society.
  12. Are phones essential?
  13. Nuclear power is better than solar power.
  14. New technologies create problems.
  15. The impact of technology on society.
  16. How electronics affect our body.
  17. The pros and cons of Facebook.
  18. The pros and cons of plastic.
  19. Are children smarter or more socialized because of the internet?

Workplace

  1. Modern offices should have facilities for an afternoon nap.
  2. Should tattoos be in the workplace?